Once upon a time, fairy tales shared stories about chivalrous knights fighting dangerous dragons. But in reality, these large lizards do not fly, breathe fire or live in caves near castles. Instead, these fierce reptiles inhabit the tropical savanna forests of Indonesia. But guests at the Indianapolis Zoo have a rare opportunity to see some of these mythical creatures up close during one of the new summer keeper chats.
Now through Labor Day, the Zoo will host daily Meet the Komodo Dragon sessions from 1-3pm in the Wedding Garden at White River Gardens. These special keeper chats will give visitors a chance to learn more about these exotic reptiles.
The Zoo’s two Komodos, female Tiamat and male Ghidra, were born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2010. Shortly thereafter, these lively lizards came to the Indianapolis Zoo and currently live behind-the-scenes in Deserts.
These two dragons are great ambassadors of their species, helping Zoo guests understand why they’re not really “dragons” at all. Through the Meet the Komodo Dragon chats as well as interactions with keepers at 1pm and 2:30pm daily, guests can learn all about this interesting species.
Komodo dragons are the largest of the reptile species. They have an incredible sense of smell and can sense a dead animal over two miles away. Their deadly saliva contains more than 50 different types of bacteria. Their native climate is very moderate, so they’re very sensitive to the temperature changes here in Indiana. And they can consume up to 80 percent of their own body weight in a single meal!
During the daily chats, keepers have the dragons on leashes so that guests can have a safe, close encounter. Although these reptiles do not have a permanent exhibit yet, they’ve been drawing large crowds to their daily sessions ever since they started on Memorial Day. In fact, Tiamat’s fan following is so large that sometimes has to be coaxed out to meet them all!
It’s been fantastic to see adventurous guests enjoying the beautiful gardens as they make their way to visit the Komodo dragons. But if you’re interested in meeting these amazing creatures, don’t wait! Meet the Komodo Dragon chats only last through Labor Day.